May 302013

IMG_0463They are the “Five Tenets” and they are to be shouted with gusto,standing at attention before the instructor.



“Self Control”!

“Perseverance” !

“Indomitable spirit, SIR”!


The students enrolled at Master Evans Martial Arts must not only memorize these tenets, they must demonstrate that they are living them out in daily life.

The declaration is then followed by confession.

Master Evans asks, “Which of you were disrespectful to a parent, grandparent, or teacher today”?

The guilty raise their hands…because they know that the parent, grandparent, or teacher has already spoken to Master Evans.

Discipline is sure and swift… a minimum of 100 pushups or “burpies”.

Repeat offenders may find themselves against a wall in a squatting position with arms extended for the whole class.

Don’t try that at home…

We enrolled Trey there to learn that discipline.

He won that medal for beating someone up…in behavior, he’s still working on honorable mention.

Naturally, my mind turns to the church…

What if …at the beginning of the service this Sunday we all shout the “Nine Tenets” of Christian living?










This would be immediately followed by confession…because He already knows .

He does expect us to demonstrate these tenets in our daily lives…

He sent someone to take the all of our punishment, though.

Make your own application…

May 302013

anglicanTHE second Book of Homilies, the several titles whereof we have joined under this Article, doth contain a godly and wholesome doctrine and necessary for these times, as doth the former Book of Homilies which were set forth in the time of Edward the Sixth: and therefore we judge them to be read in Churches by the ministers diligently and distinctly, that they may be understanded of the people.

Of the Names of the Homilies.

Of the right Use of the Church.
Against peril of Idolatry.
Of the repairing and keeping clean of Churches.
Of good Works: first of Fasting.
Against Gluttony and Drunkenness.
Against Excess of Apparel.
Of Prayer.
Of the Place and Time of Prayer.
That Common Prayers and Sacraments ought to be ministered in a known tongue. Of the reverend estimation of God’s Word.
Of Alms-doing.
Of the Nativity of Christ.
Of the Passion of Christ.
Of the Resurrection of Christ.
Of the worthy receiving of the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ.
Of the Gifts of the Holy Ghost.
For the Rogation-days.
Of the state of Matrimony.
Of Repentance.
Against Idleness.
Against Rebellion 

I admit, I have no idea why some of those are there. Some of them may be a bit outdated. Anyway, discuss…

 Posted by at 3:55 am
May 292013


67516_450467225039416_1029183902_nThis edition of Loose Ends is brought to you by ANVL

That’s Trey’s skateboard sponsor and my favorite shirt. 🙂




On the right hand sidebar we have a new poll…vote on whether the new moderation is working for you.

So far the only problem is I go to bed early…

I managed to pull in some of the old archives to this site, although I’m missing 2011 for some reason.

Now, the PhxP Bookstore and all my links on Mexico are back.

There are good arguments against Calvinism…and pretty lame ones. If you want to know what a good one looks like check out Bill Kinnon on Scott McKnights paper.

While you’re there, check out Kinnon’s writings on discipleship and tell him to put a book out.

Great classes here…go learn something.

Matt Redmond on not understanding the Scriptures…once again, I wish I’d written this.

Frank Viola asked me to check out this page….and I’m glad I did. A fresh perspective on Christian singleness.


That is all…


May 292013

cat-dogI am a cat person. I guess I think dogs are too clingy and stupid. Cats are much more independent. They are smarter, although, I have known a dumb cat or two. Dogs are much more labor intensive.

I had a favorite cat. His name was Dakota. He was jet black. He had moods. He kept the other cats in line. He would sit on his chair, and look at what the other cats were doing. Eventually, he would get mad enough (you could see it in his expressions) to step off the chair, walk up to the one he was offended the most by, and violently whip them. Then he would saunter back to his chair. He had an aura about him. He was the man of the house. He died of congestive heart failure at a relatively young age. I sure do miss him.

We have 3 cats, and a gigantic dumb dog. Our dog only really ever cares about ball. I think it is her mental “smallness” that bugs me. It could be 2 a.m. and snowing, and she wants to fetch the ball. Idiot.

Anyway, if you don’t like either, feel free to explain why! I expect cat and dog stories! Participation required!

Note: If you have not watched the “Simon’s Cat” episodes on youtube, get the heck over there now, and watch them!

 Posted by at 3:54 am
May 282013

thinking_man_ape_wood_3d_sculpture_thinker_think-480x325Until I can come up with a better solution, all comments on this blog will be moderated.

That means myself or one of our moderators have to approve them one at a time.

That means I may not be in a place where I can do that quickly, so please be patient with me.

1. First, I want to praise the Lord. I want to acknowledge Him as God and thank Him for His goodness.I don’t want to argue about Him, I want to publicly worship Him this morning. We spent the weekend at Stanford University where Trey was in his first tae kwan doe tournament. He brought home the bronze medal and we couldn’t be more proud. The praiseworthy part of this is that I could never have afforded to take him there myself, but we were able to go as bread that I cast on the waters for many years (decades) came back to me. I had to humble myself to receive it, but in doing so I also received rest and renewed strength…and hope for the challenges still ahead. He is God, His word is truth, and He is good. Period.

2. Aimee Semple McPherson is the most important figure in American Christendom in the last century. If you haven’t studied her life, do so. She founded the Foursquare denomination, but more than that she started almost everything that we associate with what ails American evangelicalism. Her sermons were elaborate performances, she was a radio pioneer, and she taught future religious performers how to survive a scandal. Well worth knowing about…

3. If you’ve known me for more than five minutes, you know that I’m the worlds foremost Jerry Lee Lewis fan. Now, The Killer is a narcissistic, immoral, scoundrel of the lowest sort. I don’t care, as long as there’s thunder in his left hand. Many these days choose their pastors by the same criteria…if the show is good, character doesn’t count. Then they wonder why things go south…

4. Interestingly enough, his career was almost destroyed by scandal in the Fifties…but he made a comeback in the Sixties, which was right about when character ceased to matter in our culture.

5. The SGM scandals and the Reformed elites response to them simply reinforces what I’ve been saying in regard to Calvary Chapel over the last few years, which is that it’s futile (though necessary) to try hold the leadership of these places to account. The emphasis has to move toward the local…and to taking personal responsibility for the state of your spiritual health. A leader is only a leader if someone is following them…an empty building speaks louder than a million blog articles.

6. The best defense against spiritual abuse in a place of free market churches is a catechized congregation.

7. “A dog barks when his master is attacked. I would be a coward if I saw that God’s truth is attacked and yet would remain silent.” John Calvin

8. “There is no worse screen to block out the Spirit than confidence in our own intelligence.” Calvin

9. The SGM scandals reinforce another tenet I’ve preached over the years…which is that the elite no longer control the media. The voice of the afflicted and their supporters has been louder than the lame responses from on high.

10. We create time for those things which are most important to us and we allot time according to how important something is…how important is your faith?


May 262013

thumbnail.aspxWe know about your presence
that fills the world,
that occupies our life,
that makes our life in the world true and good.

We notice your powerful transformative presence
in word and
in sacrament,
in food and in water,
in gestures of mercy
and practices of justice,
in gentle neighbors
and daring gratitude.

We count so on your presence
and then plunge – without intending – into your absence.
We find ourselves alone, abandoned, without resources
remembering your goodness,
hoping your future,
but mired in anxiety and threat and risk beyond our coping.

In your absence we bid your presence,
come again,
come soon,
come here.

Come to every garden become a jungle
Come to every community become joyless
sad and numb.

We acknowledge your dreadful absence and insist on your presence.
Come again, come soon. Come here.

Walter Brueggemann

May 242013

imagesLast night, Together For The Gospel (Mark Dever, Al Mohler,and Ligon Duncan) released a statement on Facebook defending their buddy and business partner in the “Gospel” C.J. Mahaney.

My guess is that they expected a lot of likes and the Reformed world to fall into lockstep with their pronouncement.

They got some of that…and they got (and deserved)  a firestorm of disgust.

They took the statement down.

Bill Kinnon saved it and it can be accessed here.

Coincidentally, (not) The Gospel Coalition released their love note to Mahaney this morning.

This will be the end of the New Calvinism…which is now the old business of religion with the only difference being a belief in predestination.

Those who claim to be the spiritual descendants of Calvin, Baxter, Ryle, and the Reformers have betrayed our heritage for a mess of pottage and a well attended conference.

We were the last to succumb to the cult of celebrity, but succumb we have.

It was a fun ride while it lasted…

May 242013

John Piper needs to learn about “re-incarnation”.

Earlier this week when we were watching the unfolding tragedy in Oklahoma, Piper responded by tweeting out a verse from the book of Job.

It came across as insensitive and harsh…because it was.

It wasn’t intentionally so, but it was anyway.

If you don’t understand that in a tragedy people need comfort before doctrine, your words will not be heard above the weeping…and you are a poor theologian, indeed.

Steve Brown put it best many years ago when He said that God didn’t send us a book, He sent us His son…He didn’t just write us about suffering and death, He came to suffer and die with us and for us.

We call His coming “the Incarnation”.

“Re-incarnation” occurs when those who have His Spirit inside them come alongside those who are suffering and suffer with and for them.

The biblical response isn’t to offer some of the Book, it’s to offer some of yourself.

We are “ambassadors of Christ” and the message we carry from the King has never changed.

In a fallen world the greatest leap of faith is not to believe in God, but to believe that He is good and that He cares.

He is and He does…even when things are really, really, bad.

That’s what the weeping need to hear.

You may be the one to bring that message…you may be the “re-incarnation” of the One who came and suffered in person.

You may have to communicate without words to be heard.

When the time for weeping has passed, make sure they have a Bible.

Make your own application.